The Future group stocks have not had a good 2019 with some of them down nearly 50 percent. Rakesh Biyani, joint managing director of Future Retail, spoke about business, demand, promoter pledge issues as well as the company's outlook for the coming year in an interview with CNBC-TV18.
Biyani said further de-pledging process for Future Retail is on.
“The objective is to bring down the pledge significantly across all companies and already at Future Lifestyle it’s down to about 17 percent of promoter stake which is less than 10 percent of the overall company and we are at about 26 percent now in Future Retail and I am sure we will be able to bring it down to the same level as Future Lifestyle by the end of 2020,” he added.
On the business front, he said: “Last two weeks have been disturbed across the country and there has been an impact on the business. So the growth is still about the same or little lower as of now but we will have to wait and watch. We need to ensure that all the stores are operational at all time, which has not been the case over the last 2-3 weeks.
“Our big focus is Big Bazaar and FBB—that’s 85 percent of the revenues. The next big business is Easyday and there we have taken a pause in our expansion, we have quit particular geographies to ensure that the network effect that we are seeking is consolidated and we can put that business on track in terms of profitability,” Biyani added.
According to him, 2019 can be termed as an interim blip for the business.
He further said that the company will see 6-7 percent like-for-like growth in FY20 and overall business will grow at about 11-12 percent.
Talking about 7-Eleven stores, Biyani said, “It’s in very early stages where we have done a very long-term licence agreement and currently trying to develop a concept which would work for the Indian urban centers. Initially it’s going to about 8-10 stores which will get operationalized in specific cluster only in the city of Mumbai.
“Once we establish the entire backend we will start looking around building a plan in terms of expansion, but it’s a bit early to discuss what the long-term objectives are. It’s going to be a slow process. It’s a process where we have to ensure that the backend is fully in place to service for needs of a concept like 7-Eleven,” added Biyani.